Butting out

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I attended quite a number of performances at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s this past winter and was quite surprised that in almost all of them, the actors and actresses were smoking real cigarettes in their acting.

The last straw was the performance of “Chicago,” which was excellent.

But to have to sit through this environmental tobacco smoke was very disappointing, whether it be part of the scene or not.

One need only to research second-hand smoke to read about the dangers of taking in nicotine and toxic chemicals by the same route as smokers.

Hello out there? Did anyone think about using the electronic cigarette to simulate the act of tobacco smoking?

I noticed people around me were coughing, and also, the odor that lingered throughout the packed Arts and Culture Centre was very bad. I think the Arts and Culture Centre should get with the program and follow the rules on smoking in a public building, whether it be part of the act or not.


Joan Snow


Geographic location: Chicago

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Recent comments

  • Colin Burke
    April 26, 2013 - 08:08

    "the actors could hold pencils up to their mouths, and the audience would get the point." Yes, and the super-sensitive in the audience would cough.

    April 25, 2013 - 19:45

    Joan Snow - please in the future get your facts straight before you write a letter to the editor. I know you must be feeling a tad foolish right now but you were the author of your own misfortune. I doubt if anyone around you were coughing as you claim and as a closing point , if you can't distinguish the smell of a vanilla type candle and tobacco smoke, I only hope and pray you have fire extingushers in ever room. Corporate Psycho was dead on!!

  • Researcher
    April 24, 2013 - 15:42

    Corporate Psycho -- mind your manners. Here: Smoking any substance carries significant health risks, especially to the lungs, throat and mouth. Different herbal substances also have their own risks and effects to be aware of. Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/284615-the-effects-of-herbal-smoke/#ixzz2RPZnMgbu There's your research. Any kind of smoke, herbal or not, is harmful when breathed in. Theatre audiences expect a show, but not to be exposed to pollutants.

  • Theatre Lover
    April 24, 2013 - 15:05

    Whether they're real or not, the point is they STINK and detract from the performance/cause discomfort, especially for people who are sensitive to any kind of scent. I would recommend using something that simply doesn't create odor/haze/smoke/whatever. Let's face it -- the actors could hold pencils up to their mouths, and the audience would get the point.

  • Non smoker
    April 24, 2013 - 12:31

    Real cigarettes? Give me a break. They are Herbals my friend. Unfortunately they stink more then real ones, and with the haze used in the shows, it gets carried the around. But, non toxic. The last thing this city needs is people putting down the theatre community and/or a theatre venue with false information.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 23, 2013 - 17:42

    Ms. Snow reminds me of Speaker Wiseman. Do some research before you mouth off.

  • Terri Andrews producer
    April 23, 2013 - 11:35

    The cigarettes uses in Chicago were not tobacco. They were "prop" cigarettes - vanilla. We would NEVER comprise health for the sake of establishing ambiance. I suspect that the other shows referenced did not use to account either. The theatre would not allow it

  • Tar Bars
    April 23, 2013 - 09:27

    Ever wonder why the profits from booze, smokes and alcohol that go into governments purse have increase so much? Because hard core drugs are on the rise and what else would they being doing while they are lit up. Not voting on QOTD.